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Evolution of Corporate Reporting: Integrated Reporting

Integrated-reporting-word-cloudCorporate reporting in the U.S. and around the world has often developed as disparate strands of reporting.  Stakeholders have grown to seek more and more information in a number of different reporting vehicles, but do they really seek the details or are they trying to drive better corporate practice?

Integrated Reporting <IR> represents an evolution of corporate reporting that focuses attention on how an organization creates value in the short, medium and long term.  An integrated report, a key output of Integrated Reporting, is a concise report primarily intended for investors of financial capital, although other stakeholders who have an interest in the organization’s ability to create value will also benefit from such communications. 

Often, the intangibles that are not reflected in an organization’s financial statements are what play a key role in future prospects. Integrated Reporting is intended to better meet the needs of 21st century business and investment communities, by reflecting not only past performance but also information about future prospects, and by taking a more concise and connected approach to communicating such information.  Integrated Reporting also focuses the organization on how it can improve its performance by breaking down traditional, internal silos.

Interest in Integrated Reporting appears to be building as strongly in the accounting profession as it is in the business community. CPAs in industry can play a key role in introducing Integrated Reporting to their organizations not only in preparing integrated reports to help providers of financial capital (e.g., investors and lenders) and other stakeholders (including employees, customers, suppliers and others) gain a clearer understanding of the business, but also in improving the organization’s performance. CPAs in public accounting may see an opportunity for providing consulting services with respect to Integrated Reporting implementation and report preparation. 

The International Integrated Reporting Council recently released a proposal, the Consultation Draft of the International <IR>Framework, which lays out the core concepts of Integrated Reporting and the Guiding Principles and Content Elements for preparation of an integrated report. Comments are due to the IIRC by July 15.

Please join the AICPA for a webcast, Integrated Reporting: The Next Step in Corporate Reporting, to be held 2 to 4 p.m. ET on May 20, which will explain the Integrated Reporting <IR> Consultation Draft and what it means for organizations. Learn more about Integrated Reporting.

Beth A. Schneider, CPA, Audit Director - Audit & Assurance Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP. Beth is on secondment to the IIRC as a Technical Director participating in the development of the International <IR> Framework. She also is chair of the AICPA Sustainability Task Force under the Auditing Standards Board and a member of the AICPA Assurance Services Executive Committee.

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